Posted in Earth, Exploring, Family, Fire, Hiking, Mindfulness, Nature, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Spirit, Spring, The Bogs, Travel

On the way to the Bogs

As seen on a hike yesterday
As seen on a hike yesterday

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.

~ Henry Miller

Going on a hike, at our own risk.
Going on a hike, at our own risk.

How was you weekend?  Did you do anything exciting, or perhaps not exciting but worth a mention?  M and I have been traveling, making our way back to the Bogs.  Along the way, we stopped to hike on part of the abandoned turnpike in Pennsylvania.  You can read more about it here.  In a nutshell, in case you don’t want too read to much about it, there is a 13 mile (21 km) stretch of Pennsylvania turnpike that was bypassed in 1968 to relieve traffic jams that resulted because of the tunnels.

Along the abandoned turnpike
Along the abandoned turnpike

We hiked to Rays Hill Tunnel, starting in Breezewood.  Breezewood, Pennsylvania is about the half way point for us between our new home on the Eastern Shore and our old home in the Bogs.  Normally we arrive at this halfway point at night which is not a good time to be hiking in unfamiliar territory.  The funny thing is that we’ve talked about trying to find this section of abandoned turnpike, but didn’t realize until recently that the entrance to it is near the hotel where we stay in Breezewood.

Pushing up through the old road
Pushing up through the old road

This trip we had both the knowledge and the time to seek it out.  I’m glad we did.  It’s an odd thing, walking along an old, abandoned road.  Maybe it’s all the post-apocalyptic novels I’ve read or movies I’ve seen (“The Road,” by the way, was filmed on part of the Abandoned Turnpike, and I read that they did a little restoration work on parts of it).

Walking towards the mountain (and the tunnel).
Walking towards the mountain (and the tunnel).

We’re planning to go back again on our bikes so we can cover more of it than we could do on foot.  We did get in a good 4-miles, round trip, and made it as far as the tunnel.

June 2014C 045a
Even the lines are still there

I took a lot of photos, especially in and around the tunnel, but I’m using a laptop and can’t see the images well, so I’ll wait until I return home to sort through them and show you the good stuff.  In the meantime, I just wanted to give you some idea of what it was like.  The weather was lovely.  A bit warm, but there was a nice breeze.  I was surprised at how new the leaves on the trees look, and the spring flowers.  We were already well past that phase when we left the Eastern Shore.  It’s as if we are revisiting spring.

Approaching the tunnel.  You can even see the old sign post to the left.
Approaching the tunnel. You can even see the old sign post to the left.

We spent the night in Breezewood, and this morning made our way west on the current turnpike to Ohio and the Bogs.  It was a smooth trip, always a good thing.  We’ll be here for a few days and then head south to visit with out granddaughters and their parents.  This leg of the trip is partially a working vacation.  As landlords, we have some work to do around the old homestead.  M the Younger and Mere are wonderful tenants, and have made lots of great changes, but there are things that, as renters, they shouldn’t have to be responsible for, and we’ll take care of them while we’re here.  The bonus is that we get to spend time with family.

Tunnel graffiti
Tunnel graffiti

We took a walk around the pond, revisiting this area we knew so well.  Like everything in life, it has changed, and there’s a wonder in that.  To go away, and find a place so different that it’s become almost new.

It’s time for me to wrap this up so I can go back out to the pond, take a few deep breaths, and enjoy being back in the Bogs.  Thank you for stopping by, and exploring a little of the abandoned turnpike with me.  I hope life is going well for you, and that you’re finding something new in what was the old.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂



Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

12 thoughts on “On the way to the Bogs

  1. So…..did the “renters” ever find any of the little gifts you left hanging around the bogs? I always thought that was SO brilliant. ANd now I have another place to add to “wanna do’s” for bike riding! 🙂


  2. I just think it’s so cool that you can return to your old home in the Bogs. Your adventure along the way sounds so interesting, as well. Glad you took the time to have that abandoned road time.


  3. Exploring and hiking in the same day — how interesting and spooky at the same time that road looks! Have a wonderful time while visiting back home, even if you do have to combine work in with your relaxation — I have a feeling you’ll enjoy yourself anyway!


Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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